Tag Archives: steps

Shrewsbury with a whoosh

As stated in my last post, I have two tango venues this week. It is not often I get this opportunity, so I must make the most of it.

The beginners class started with everyone doing ochos. Men find this particularly difficult. (I blame the shoes) It gave the men a chance to see how much time is needed to complete, and hopefully illustrated how the pivot needs to be finished before you make the lady step.

We went on to do walking ochos, again with the emphasis on allowing the time and space necessary. As the class went on I could see great improvements all round, everyone looked more relaxed and at ease with the steps.

When we moved on to the improver’s class, the numbers were balanced, so neither Bob or Roberta were needed. I disappeared into the practica room to give some of the struggling beginners the benefit of my experience.

I spent some time with one lady who had not been coming long, she still struggled with the ochos, but as I broke it down and told her to get her balance after the pivot before she tries to step. She was soon ochoing like a good un.

After half an hour or so she had had enough and left me to rejoin the improver’s class. Alison had also rejoined so this meant I now had a follower. Sharon was teaching the whoosh again, and again as I had missed the beginning, I was struggling.

All was well in the end as I had a bit of a private lesson. I was doing the classic beginners thing of just making it too complicated. Just goes to show, good as you think you have become, we all relapse now and again.

Back in the Coracle my private struggles were commented upon, I need to be kept reminded that despite most of the dancers around these parts being beginners, I am not so great. Buenos Aires will bring me down again with a thump.

Next week is the first ever Gresford Milonga. I am sorry I cannot invite everyone, while Gerald Grosvenor may live down the road, I only have a small bungalow.  However if you read this and feel particularly put out that you were not invited. Tough!

Seriously we may be able to fit in one or two more, so we are looking only for those who really want to attend. If we are sucsessful we may try fitting more in next time, hopefully in the summer when we can throw the doors open.

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Basic eight and more

OK so last night I took the Chester class. I had planned to do something about the lead and the embrace, but Sharon had asked me to go over the basic eight in preparation for the coming year.

There was one guy who was fairly new, but in general everyone including the new guy was very soon doing the eight with no problems. We went on to make it a seven, leaving out the back step, but this was never going to fill two hours.

I decided to ask if anyone had anything they wanted help with, and everyone either said ochos or giros.  We spent some time going over the steps of the giro, until someone asked the killer question “if tango is improvised then why do we learn steps?” it was as if I had planted the question. Now I could break the moves down into their basics and show that any ocho or giro could be started or finished at any point. The lady must wait for each lead, because the man may not go the way they think he will go.

I then gave them something of a demo; I chose a fairly new partner and asked her forgiveness for what I was about to do. I played Poema by Canaro, I think one of the most beautiful pieces ever written.  I then proceeded to ignore the music and do every move I could think of, it was horrible, she hated it, and every one could see that she was struggling.

I apologised again and asked how it was for her. Now I asked for a second chance, Poema again, but this time I listened to the music, we did nothing but walk, but changing speed and direction as the music dictated. She was happy, we looked good, our audience enjoyed it and I did not even lead an ocho.

I set the class back to their tasks, telling them not to lead just giros and ochos but fill in with walking and feel the music. I picked my drink up as my mouth was dry and when I turned back everyone was dancing, not as in a class, not practicing , but just dancing.

At this point I gave up teaching and just left the music on. I no longer had a class, but a group of Tango dancers.

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Filed under Dance Venues and Schools